Off the Map

City of Bohane
Kevin Barry
Graywolf Press, $25, 288 pp.

When you open City of Bohane, you’re opening not just a novel, but a Fodor’s guide to a metropolis—an eerie, vibrant, murderous domain with its own grittily mythic lore and customs and its own apocalyptic Celtic slang. The Irish novelist Kevin Barry provides a story, too, of course—a saga of gang warfare and ruthless hoodlums vying for power and love—and he infuses it with a memorable jazzy lyricism. But it’s the alluringly seamy geography you’ll remember...

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About the Author

Celia Wren is Commonweal’s media and stage critic.